Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565
Phone: (239) 590-1005
Fax: (239) 590-1066
President Merwin Supports Patriotism at FGCU
FORT MYERS, FL – This morning Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has received a number of telephone calls and emails expressing outrage over media reports of a situation regarding the University's Library and employee expressions of patriotism. As the President of Florida Gulf Coast University, I need to reassure the members of the community that FGCU strongly supports this country, and also supports our faculty, staff and students to express their patriotism. There is no FGCU policy prohibiting expressions of support for America.
One employee made a terrible mistake, which I find to be reprehensible. Regardless of the motivation for tolerance during these trying times, the decision to ask Library staff members to not wear a patriotic sticker expressing pride in being American is a decision that was made without consulting me or other University administrators. I take this situation very seriously, and want the community to know that the bad decision does not represent a policy, attitude or feeling on the part of the administration, faculty, staff and students at Florida Gulf Coast University. To the contrary, our campus has held services since last week’s tragic events to come together as a University community to express our sorrow over the terrorists' actions, and to reaffirm our sense of pride in America.
I am in Orlando at a meeting, but am returning to campus today to address this situation. I will have the opportunity with the provost to talk with the Director of Library Services about what has occurred. On behalf of the FGCU faculty, staff and students, please know that we are a patriotic and caring community that is sharing the pain of the terrorism that struck our country last week. Thank you.